1. An aging population has put lots of investors into wealth-preservation mode.
2. Fears of inflation push investors out of stocks and into inflation-indexed bonds. Stocks never were a good inflation hedge, anyway.
3. The returns on stocks have been depressed for over a decade. It's hard to justify "long term" investing after a decade of withering bear markets and nearly flat returns.
4. The rise of strategies, such as high-frequency trading, that prey upon day traders and other nonprofessional investors, has convinced many that buying and selling stock is a losing game.
I'm not sure this is lamentable. The long run of equities has not necessarily served investors all that well. I am sure that it is unlikely to be reversed soon. This is the new normal for volume.
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